Micro-organisms - Bacteria, fungi, viruses, and bacterial spores.
Nosocomial infection - An infection originating in the environment of a hospital or freestanding dental treatment facility (DTF).
Personal protective attire - Specialized barrier attire worn by an employee to protect against a hazard.
Occupational exposure - Reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from performance of your duties, despite the appropriate use of protective attire or equipment.
Saturated steam sterilization - A process that uses steam heat under pressure for sufficient length of time to kill all forms of micro-organisms.
Sanitary sewer system - A sewer system connected to a sewage treatment plant.
Spray-wipe-spray - An acceptable method of cleaning and disinfecting. Presently there is no agent on the market with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration that cleans and disinfects in one step. Therefore, the importance of cleaning as a separate step from disinfection and sterilization cannot be overemphasized.
Sterile, sterility - Free from all living micro-organisms.
Sterilization - Process that destroys all types and forms of micro-organisms.
Sterilization area - The area of a health care facility designed for housing sterilization equipment and conducting sterilization procedures.
Sterilizer (gravity displacement type) - A type of sterilizer in which incoming steam displaces via gravity, the residual air through a port or drain usually in or near the bottom of the sterilizer chamber. Common exposure techniques: 30 minutes at 121-123°C (250-274°F) and 15 to 17 pounds per square inch (psi); or 15 minutes at 132-135°C (270-274°F) and 30 to 32 psi. Always follow manufacturer's recommended settings.
Sterilizer (prevacuum type) - A type of sterilizer that relies on one or more pressure and vacuum evolutions at beginning or end of the cycle. This method of operation results in shorter cycle times because of the rapid removal of air from the chamber and the load by a vacuum system. Operating temperatures are 132-135°C.
Unit dose - The quantity of materials or supplies required to treat a single patient.
Universal precautions - A protocol for infection control that treats all human blood and body fluids as if known to be infectious for HIV, HBV, and other bloodborne pathogens.
Work practice controls - Controls that reduce the likelihood of exposure by altering the way one performs a task such as having patients brush their teeth or using antiseptic mouthwash before beginning a procedure; using the rubber dam whenever possible, disinfecting the isolated teeth, and using a disinfectant mouthwash before and after applying the dam; heavy duty, puncture-resistant utility gloves (fig. 9-1) are used when handling instruments, and while cleaning and disinfecting instruments during the sterilization process; using an accepted and safe technique for recapping needles; and disposing of sharps before beginning cleanup procedures at the conclusion of treatment.
Identifying potentially infectious patients by medical history, physical examination, or readily available laboratory tests is not always possible. A period of up to several weeks often exists between the time a person becomes infected with a virus and the time when a laboratory test can detect the antigens or antibodies that form. In an HIV-infected individual, this period could be 6 months or more. Consequently, even if a patient tests negative, he or she may still be infectious. Dental personnel must assume that all body fluids and contaminated instruments and materials are infectious and use universal precautions to protect themselves and the patients.
Dental personnel providing direct patient care, including civilian employees, volunteers, dental laboratory, and repair personnel who are directly exposed to blood and saliva, must receive an HBV vaccine. Also, all active duty healthcare personnel will receive HIV and tuberculosis testing and or screening on an annual basis during each calendar year. 9-4